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The Bare Minimum

For fans of synths, pianos or keyboard instruments of any sort.

Re: The Bare Minimum

Postby Arpangel » Mon Nov 04, 2019 10:27 am

I'm staying at a friends flat in London at the moment, all she has here is an Alesis Micron and a pair of headphones, I'm determined to make something with it before I go home!
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Re: The Bare Minimum

Postby BigRedX » Mon Nov 04, 2019 1:38 pm

N i g e l wrote:Oooo ! thats a 90 deg twist in looking at things, you are driven by the music rather than the sounds - ..........................................focused, but werid ! :smirk: ;)

Once I started to build up my electronic musical instrument collection, I found I was getting far too hung up on the sounds rather than the music I was making with them, and in a way this would be a throw-back to the days when what I had was what I could (barely) afford or what my friends would lend me, and I had to make the best music I could within those limitations.

I also made some fairly bad decisions along the way - after years of trying to make a Roland TR808 and then a Yamaha RX11 sound like real drums being played by a real drummer, I finally got an Alesis HR16 and promptly joined a band with a real drummer playing real drums so I was then trying to make the Alesis sound as "synthetic" as possible in order to compliment the sound of the real drums.
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Re: The Bare Minimum

Postby MOF » Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:13 pm

People do seem to accumulate sounds and gear, and some use the lack of the exact gear/sounds as an excuse not to make music.

I ran out of those excuses a year or two ago, it’s all software on a powerful iMac now, with a good pre-amp, audio interface, speakers, headphones (closed and open backed), microphones and midi/usb controllers, I think I can say I’m sorted.
My old synths and samplers only get switched on to bounce audio into Logic when revisiting old songs and usually get replaced by the new soft synths/samples.
I like the choice of sounds from the various soft synths and samplers and they all have their strengths and weaknesses. It just takes time finding the sounds if I’m after something I can hear in my head, the rest of the time it’s serendipity.
The only problem I have is getting distracted by the latest idea and not finishing the previous song.
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Re: The Bare Minimum

Postby Dave B » Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:42 pm

Arpangel wrote:I try and make the same piece of music with less stuff, and see if it comes away undamaged, I mean, is all the required musical information and emotion still there?

So we run a 'One Synth Challenge' round these parts these days and that's one of the core ideas behind it (along with "just how well do I know this bit of kit"). It ties together - we can be pleasantly surprised at how flexible our gear actually is when we are forced to really push it. The last time we did this I was really intrigued to find that a relatively cheap synth (DSI Tetra - I got mine for under 500quid which is nothing for 4 monosynths) actually was a bit of a monster. So much so that I'm questioning if I really need an Oberheim Xpander or whether I should sell it and put the money to good use...

Me! Thinking of selling an Oberheim! :shock:
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Re: The Bare Minimum

Postby blinddrew » Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:33 pm

Dave B wrote:Me! Thinking of selling an Oberheim! :shock:

I was a bit suspicious when this thread first appeared but now I'm convinced that Dave has been hacked and the new user is just playing with us!
;)
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Re: The Bare Minimum

Postby Rich Hanson » Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:47 pm

Dave B wrote:
Arpangel wrote:I try and make the same piece of music with less stuff, and see if it comes away undamaged, I mean, is all the required musical information and emotion still there?

So we run a 'One Synth Challenge' round these parts these days and that's one of the core ideas behind it (along with "just how well do I know this bit of kit"). It ties together - we can be pleasantly surprised at how flexible our gear actually is when we are forced to really push it. The last time we did this I was really intrigued to find that a relatively cheap synth (DSI Tetra - I got mine for under 500quid which is nothing for 4 monosynths) actually was a bit of a monster. So much so that I'm questioning if I really need an Oberheim Xpander or whether I should sell it and put the money to good use...

Me! Thinking of selling an Oberheim! :shock:

It certainly is an eye-opening experience - I was gobsmacked at how much I could get out of the Waldorf Rocket, a synthesizer that at first glance is severely limited. It's actually made me consider cutting things right back as I was finding that I was much better at squeezing sounds out of gear than I had previously thought.
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Re: The Bare Minimum

Postby Eddy Deegan » Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:21 pm

Dave B wrote:Maybe it's a midlife crisis type thing

Could be. If it is, it should pass. I've recently been having some difficulty with a few things in life and at one point recently was very seriously considering downsizing to the point where I sold the house as well as much of the gear. It would be an overkill solution to a temporary problem if I did though.

Fortunately, in one of his famous 'round the table' sessions in his kitchen, Eddie B. talked me out of it, at least for now. He also talked me into something related to my approach to music creation, which has significantly cheered me up, so thanks to him :D

Reflecting on the theme of the thread, I've alluded to this before but it's quite a real thing for me:

I don't care much whether I need something or not. If I want it enough, I'll go about buying it where possible. The pleasure I get from ownership (and putting hands on gear) is as close to the pleasure I get from music creation as makes little difference, in all honesty. I'm working mainly on training my want to be tempered with my need.

There, I've said it!
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Re: The Bare Minimum

Postby IAA » Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:55 pm

don't care much whether I need something or not. If I want it enough, I'll go about buying it where possible. The pleasure I get from ownership (and putting hands on gear) is as close to the pleasure I get from music creation as makes little difference, in all honesty. I'm working mainly on training my want to be tempered with my need.

Bravo Eddie :clap:

.... I think I could do with a ‘round the table chat’ with Eddie too.
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Re: The Bare Minimum

Postby Eddy Deegan » Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:18 pm

IAA wrote:
don't care much whether I need something or not. If I want it enough, I'll go about buying it where possible. The pleasure I get from ownership (and putting hands on gear) is as close to the pleasure I get from music creation as makes little difference, in all honesty. I'm working mainly on training my want to be tempered with my need.

Bravo Eddie :clap:

.... I think I could do with a ‘round the table chat’ with Eddie too.

Aha, I just realised that what I wrote was ambiguous. I didn't mean that Eddie had imparted the wisdom about 'want' and 'need' to me, that was just me. I didn't say what Eddie had talked me into, just that it cheered me up :D

Sorry for any confusion!

However, you are 100% correct in that everybody could do with a 'round the table chat' with Eddie. Not only is it a pleasure, it's an experience to frequently think about later, and grin!
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Re: The Bare Minimum

Postby Arpangel » Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:38 pm

Eddy Deegan wrote:
Dave B wrote:Maybe it's a midlife crisis type thing

Could be. If it is, it should pass. I've recently been having some difficulty with a few things in life and at one point recently was very seriously considering downsizing to the point where I sold the house as well as much of the gear. It would be an overkill solution to a temporary problem if I did though.

Fortunately, in one of his famous 'round the table' sessions in his kitchen, Eddie B. talked me out of it, at least for now. He also talked me into something related to my approach to music creation, which has significantly cheered me up, so thanks to him :D

Reflecting on the theme of the thread, I've alluded to this before but it's quite a real thing for me:

I don't care much whether I need something or not. If I want it enough, I'll go about buying it where possible. The pleasure I get from ownership (and putting hands on gear) is as close to the pleasure I get from music creation as makes little difference, in all honesty. I'm working mainly on training my want to be tempered with my need.

There, I've said it!

We don't need any of this shit Eddy, come on, let's face it.
But it's fun to own it!
I loved walking into my studio, and just seeing my Mini Moog sitting there was a thrill in itself, and big studios, mixers etc, racks of gear, still have, and this is important, an inspirational and magical quality about them, that makes it all worthwhile, if it inspires you to make a track or record anything, it's been worthwhile.
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Re: The Bare Minimum

Postby arkieboy » Tue Nov 05, 2019 12:44 am

Dave B wrote:I'm questioning if I really need an Oberheim Xpander or whether I should sell it and put the money to good use...

Me! Thinking of selling an Oberheim! :shock:

(arkieboy takes inventory of his remaining internal organs)
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Re: The Bare Minimum

Postby Arpangel » Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:40 am

Whenever I sell something and think "I'll put the money to good use" I can never remember what I spent it on, it normally gets frittered away at the supermarket.
I think you have to really think why you are selling something, if it isn't something that your absolutely sure about, don't sell it. Reasons to sell.....

It was obviously a major mistake, and you should have done more research.
You need the money, what for? OK if it's to pay rent and buy food, but forget it if it isn't for those reasons.
I honestly can't think of any other resons to sell stuff, if you have space and don't need cash why would you? Even if you've had a change of thought and gone completely ITB, that's no reason to sell your hardware, it's just nice stuff to have around, and besides, you may want to use it again at some point.
Two examples. Brian Eno, a great advocate of ITB recording, but if you look at his house and studio it's full of old gear lurking around. I know he raffled a lot of his stuff off a few years back, that puzzled me, but it was for one of his charities I think.
And our great friend Mr Red Bladder, I've been to his studio a few times, what an amazing place, a real treasure trove, but all alongside the latest technology. He also has space, and isn't worried about selling things.
I think the bottom line is primarily money, and justifying ownership, second is space. But beyond those two things I can't think of any other reasons to sell up.
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Re: The Bare Minimum

Postby The Elf » Tue Nov 05, 2019 2:58 pm

arkieboy wrote:
Dave B wrote:I'm questioning if I really need an Oberheim Xpander or whether I should sell it and put the money to good use...

Me! Thinking of selling an Oberheim! :shock:

(arkieboy takes inventory of his remaining internal organs)
I have an Xpander... and a Peak. Guess which one I'd save from the flames first...
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Re: The Bare Minimum

Postby Arpangel » Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:22 pm

The Elf wrote:
arkieboy wrote:
Dave B wrote:I'm questioning if I really need an Oberheim Xpander or whether I should sell it and put the money to good use...

Me! Thinking of selling an Oberheim! :shock:

(arkieboy takes inventory of his remaining internal organs)
I have an Xpander... and a Peak. Guess which one I'd save from the flames first...

That question is too easy, can we make it more fun and have a prize?
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Re: The Bare Minimum

Postby arkieboy » Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:34 am

The Elf wrote:
arkieboy wrote:
Dave B wrote:Me! Thinking of selling an Oberheim! :shock:

(arkieboy takes inventory of his remaining internal organs)
I have an Xpander... and a Peak. Guess which one I'd save from the flames first...

That's good - we won't end up fighting in a burning building! :round1:

I think the Peak sounds great, and there are some other new synths that have me salivating - chiefly with wavetables. But they don't tend to have guitar synth friendly implementations, and anyway I'm deeply attached to the Oberheim sound.
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